That Time When 40,000W of Backlight Still Wasn’t Enough

In Notes From the Set by Rod SantianoLeave a Comment

With LED lighting tech and the high ISO sensitivity of digital cameras, big lights are pretty much non-existent on smaller shoots. But a few weeks ago, we had to shoot with a Phantom Flex 4K camera at 1000fps and I knew I’d need way more light than usual. I wanted the image to be mostly black with but with the backlight to be pretty bright and the fill/key to be a little underexposed for mood. We brought in two 20Ks for the backlight and two 12Ks for the key/fill. I thought for sure it would be overkill. Nope.

We needed to spot the 20Ks all the way down and focus them right on Donovan Mitchell, the star of the commercial. After all was said and done, I was underexposed about a full stop but knew that I’d be able to save it in post. Which was the case.

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